We’re making some changes to our website soon. Sethandjessica.com will remain online, but it won’t be updated regularly with news anymore. It will simply become an information site for those who want to find out about us, what we do, and how they can be involved. If you would like ministry and family news from us, please contact us and let us know, so that we can add you to our email list or private Facebook group, which is updated regularly.
Another development: Seth has just started a new blog at sethlewis.ie
This blog will not be focused on ministry updates, but will cover a variety of thoughts about the world, Ireland, culture, family, and life. There’s one post up already about the New Ireland. Have a look!
After a landslide victory in favour of legalising abortion in Ireland, many are saying that a ‘New Ireland’ has dawned. It is not the same old devout Catholic nation it used to be. In fact, the referendum was seen by many as an opportunity to show the Church (and the world) that Ireland is no longer under her authority. The New Ireland has stopped looking to Rome for direction, and has turned her attention instead to Brussels (the capital of the European Union). The priests who used to dictate Ireland’s morality have been replaced with media personalities, politicians, and celebrities, who teach a new morality founded on the immovable pillars of personal autonomy and sexual freedom. This personal freedom is the height of the new definition of virtue, and anything that restricts it is the depth of the new definition of evil. As the referendum last weekend has proven, the New Ireland is here, and she is eager to faithfully follow her new morality – even if it means that her own children must be sacrificed in the process.
In light of the abortion referendum taking place in Ireland this Friday, Seth spoke this Sunday in church on the value of a human, from Psalm 8. We’ve recently started putting sermons online, so you can listen to it by clicking here.
Seth was asked recently to run as a representative of our estate (neighbourhood) on our town’s Community Council. The Council is the hub of almost all local voluntary groups and activities, and Seth had no trouble getting elected, because our estate did not even put forward the full number of candidates allowed. Still, he’s on, and we’re delighted to be able to participate and contribute to the community in this way.
Today marks fourteen years of matrimony for us! Looking back, we can see clearly how God has guided and provided for us through these years together. We have so much to be thankful for!
We found out last week that our estate (neighborhood, in US English) is going to be expanding soon – the builder recently got permission to build 277 new homes. Looks like we could have quite a few new neighbours before too long! And it won’t stop there: Cork County Council has big plans to basically double the size of Carrigtwohill in the coming years because it is well located, has strong industries, and already has good transportation links to Cork city. Even more new neighbours!
This weekend our family attended our first conference with our new mission board, UFM. The conference was held in Northern Ireland, which is a different country (part of the United Kingdom) from where we live on the south coast. The accents may be different, but our God is the same, and it was wonderful to hear stories of his work and faithfulness from around the world. We also got to give an update at a wonderfully friendly Presbyterian church in the area on Sunday. It’s great to meet strangers who are family in the Lord!
This week Seth was elected as a parent representative to the Board of Management for the school our children attend. We’re surprised and delighted by this unexpected opportunity to be more involved in the school and community!
Another surprise came in a recent phone call asking if Seth would be willing to serve on the Executive Committee of Aontas (the Irish word for ‘union’), which is a national association of evangelical churches in Ireland. He said yes, and was elected at their annual meeting.
You just never know what doors God will open – we certainly didn’t see either of these coming!
Today Seth met with a group of local church leaders who spend the morning of the first Friday of every month in prayer. Yes, there’s tea and coffee and bits of food as well – there always is when people get together in Ireland – but mostly we just spend a couple of solid hours praying together for God to do what only He can. It’s a huge blessing to be able to join in these meetings every month and see how God answers our requests over time!
Turns out the flu Seth had wasn’t so easy to beat after all – it started taking hold as pneumonia, and knocked him out of a conference he was supposed to participate in, preaching on Sunday, and helping with a youth camp this week. Jessica and the children still went to help with the camp – Jessica is helping in the kitchen, which is probably the most demanding area of camp. Seth has definitely turned a corner thanks to powerful medicine, but the whole thing is certainly a strong reminder of just how weak and fragile we are as humans.